How to source the best generator for a business

Investing in a generator can help protect operations from severe losses in the event of a power outage. CAPS Australia explains.

However, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to sourcing a generator, as choosing the right one will depend on individual business’ needs. Mike Brophy, who is the Product Manager for Power Generation with CAPS Australia, shared some key points as to what businesses should consider before purchasing a generator.

Why do I need a generator?
According to Brophy, this is the most important question to ask. It requires identifying what systems and equipment are essential to keeping your business in operation during a blackout. A standby generator is a form of insurance that ensures your critical processes and assets are protected. Do you have manufacturing / processing equipment that needs to keep running? Does your refrigeration system need to work 24/7? Establishing these critical business needs is essential when it comes to choosing a generator.

What size generator should I get?
This is where the process becomes more complicated. Brophy explains that there are a number of elements to consider when it comes to sizing a generator. For a start, establishing the exact application for the generator is key, as is calculating the total power requirements of your operations. This is where having expert consultation makes all the difference.

“This is where CAPS comes in. We will have someone come out to the customer’s site and determine the exact application requirements. Then we’ll size generator correctly, using our specific sizing guidelines. Because nine times out of 10, a customer will struggle to accurately calculate their power needs,” said Brophy.

As purchasing a generator is an expensive undertaking, Brophy recommends calling in the experts. The benefits of doing this will include: no shutdowns due to capacity overload, increased longevity of the generator, guaranteed performance, and workplace safety.

Importantly, CAPS have many years’ experience in power generation applications.  Hence, they have the ability to offer turnkey solutions to businesses, irrespective of their size.

What does the process of installation entail?
There are a number of steps involved when CAPS coordinate with a customer to select and install a generator. Brophy said CAPS provide four core services – the system design, ensuring the application needs are met, management of the project and full delivery of the system.

“The whole process is actually a marriage between CAPS and the customer. There has to be participation from both sides for it to work. As a supplier, we need to know what the customer needs. And for the customer, CAPS must deliver. But the end goal is only achievable if both parties are working together towards that goal – a one-sided affair does not work,” explained Brophy.

Once the type and size of generator has been established, CAPS will provide the mechanical installation. They will also work closely with a business’s electrical contractor to make sure the control system for the generator is set up to meet the customer needs. Depending on the individual business, an automatic transfer system might be recommended or a closed transition system might be more appropriate. Once the installation has taken place, CAPS will commission the whole system to ensure everything is working correctly.

What differentiates CAPS from other suppliers?
In a nutshell, it’s the relationship that CAPS forms with their customers that sets them apart. As Brophy explained, “It’s a partnership from the beginning. A lot of our opposition will sell their customers a box, whereas we’ll sell them a system and deliver it. We also provide after-market services to make sure the customer needs continue to be met, because the after-market service on a standby generator is absolutely critical.”

As experts in the field, CAPS can guarantee the delivery of a standby generator from the analysis of the application, to the sizing, to the installation and after-sales maintenance services. This is unique in itself. “Not many companies will take the customer from A to Z,” said Brophy.

In terms of after-sales support, CAPS offer a peerless service. They have a multitude of service trucks nationally who work with their customers to provide regular maintenance. Regular servicing not only ensures a generator will be effective in the time of a power outage but will also increase the longevity of the machine.

“We schedule four services per year. Our staff will come and check the battery, the oil and the diesel levels and make sure everything is in working order. Without maintenance, the generator will likely fail, but with regular servicing, a standby generator can last for many years,” Brophy explained.